I lived in a country obsessed with being Number One. We have the best airports, the least corrupted government, the best schools, the best science folks, pretty much an ace place to be huh?
Status symbol is what the general Singaporean local populace wants. Singaporean parents starts their child’s education really early, and it matters if the child is matriculated in a the top school. In order for that to happen, parents are willing to move to the proximity of the school so as to stand a better chance for the kid to get into that school.
There is this DNA obsessed with positional advantage. Everyone wants to be first. Everyone wants the best, irrespective of context and functionality. An LV duffel and a Deuter duffel works he same way, it is a bag. Sure if i can afford a LV brand, well within my means, then it will be a matter of relativity. But like what a Standard Chartered Bank advertisement says :” not everything in life that counts, can be counted.”But what happens here in Singapore is that everyone has this frantic ‘best is best’ mentality.
With the upcoming elections, this is even more pervasive. The ruling government People’s Action Party (PAP), has this ‘men in white’ image, (somewhat like wearing a gi, huh?) they only wants the best for their party, to be politician. You have to come from a good school, a Harvard scholar perhaps? So their selection is as stringent as it comes, a potential PAP candidate is scrutinized right down to the choice of underwear you purchase (is was meant as a joke.)
So, will the likes of Sir Richard Branson stands well for PAP? guess not. But is he the best in what he do? you bet, he is number one in his own rights. How about Bill Clinton? He is no goody two shoes, but he did his duty as an American President admirably well. Arnold Schwarzenegger? That beefcake senior was not the best California senator, but he did his job all right. will the likes of all these people represent the PAP well? i doubt.
The likes of me will never make it into the squeaky clean image of the PAP. I dropped out from secondary school, never got first in anything, neither a gold medal in any competition. Hell, I abhor participating in competition. I live my life not by how many metals i can hang around my neck, but how happy i am with what i do, with my existence.
So number one is fine, if you are a natural. If you are not, where the majority stands, being second, third or last, is just as fine. Because we all heard about some hot-shot ace lawyer who cheated money out of his clients, and a happy go-lucky bus driver that made everyone’s day when he takes them for a ride (pun intended). Who do you want to be? Its your choice.